Film screening continues DAPL discussion


A documentary discussing the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline will be screened at Trine University on Tuesday, Feb. 28, with presentations following by its producer and two activists featured in the film.

The event is free and open to the public.

The presentation of "wiinwaa niizhaasing (We the 7th)," which recently debuted on PBS station WGVU-TV in Grand Rapids, will begin at 7 p.m. in Best Hall Room 221. The documentary tells the story of western Michigan’s urban Native American community and their journey to join the protest at the pipeline construction site in North Dakota.

Following the screening, Mariano Avila, inclusion reporter at WGVU-TV and the film’s producer, will host a discussion with featured guest speakers Seth Sutton and Lin Bardwell of Grand Valley State University’s "Gi-gikinomaage-min (We are all teachers): Defend Our History, Unlock Your Spirit" initiative, a collaboration among several units to document the experience of Native American elders who lived in Grand Rapids during the federal relocation period in the mid-20th century.

Bardwell is a graduate student in public administration at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, and chairs the Grand Rapids Community Relations Commission. She serves as project coordinator and spokesperson for Gi-gikinomaage-min. Sutton, a member of the Anishinaabe, is owner of Big Thicket Media in Rockford, Michigan, and adjunct faculty member at Montcalm Community College in Sidney, Michigan.

Hosted by SPEAK for the Earth of Trine University, the evening is a continuation of a discussion on the Dakota Access Pipeline that was held in November.

The Dakota Access Pipeline Project is a more than 1,170-mile pipeline planned to transport light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The project was approved in July by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit claiming the pipeline would be a threat to the environment and that it would destroy sites significant to the tribe. A protest against construction has been ongoing at the pipeline construction site in North Dakota.

For more information, contact SPEAK for the Earth at